Autopilot’s Automatic Lane Change Feature Cuts People Off And Brake Checks Them

Tesla’s Autopilot is probably one of the best known semi-autonomous driving systems on the market, but it’s not perfect and Consumer Reports is calling a recent update potentially dangerous.

According to the organization, Autopilot’s new automatic lane change feature “doesn’t work very well and could create potential safety risks for drivers.”

Included in last month’s Navigate on Autopilot update, the technology promises a “more seamless” driving experience as models equipped with Autopilot can now automatically change lanes. Owners don’t even have to confirm the lane changes by using the turn stalk.

The technology sounds like a good idea, but it apparently doesn’t work very well. According to Consumer Reports, the feature “cut off cars without leaving enough space and even passed other cars in ways that violate state laws.” The feature is reportedly so bad that drivers have to intervene often to prevent the vehicle from “making poor decisions.”

Perhaps the scariest thing about the system is that it doesn’t seem to realize how fast vehicles are approaching from behind. As a result, cars can change lanes and find themselves in the path of a speeding vehicle.

Even merging is problematic as the group said their Model 3 was “reluctant to merge in heavy traffic” and, when it finally did, the car would often immediately apply the brakes to create space between it and the vehicle in front. In effect, the system effectively cuts other drivers off and then brake checks them.

kia dealer cadenza model3 6

Consumer Reports’ senior director of auto testing, Jake Fisher, was extremely critical of the technology as he said “The system’s role should be to help the driver, but the way this technology is deployed, it’s the other way around.” He went on to say the feature “doesn’t appear to react to brake lights or turn signals” from other vehicles and this means drivers to have to be “one step ahead of it.”

While it might not work as well as owners would hope, Tesla stated its limitations last month. As the company explained, the feature “does not make a car autonomous” and “drivers are responsible for and must remain in control of their car at all times.”

Also Read: Consumer Reports Advises Against Relying On Tesla Model S’ Autopilot

The system won’t change lanes unless hands are detected on the steering wheel and Tesla gives owners the option of requiring a lane change confirmation if desired. Owners can also setup the system to provide audible and steering wheel vibration alerts (on newer models) about upcoming lane changes.

It’s unfortunate the technology doesn’t live up to full potential, but future updates could potentially improve the system.

  • Adilos Nave

    This isn’t that revolutionary. BMW has had this for years.

    • Six_Tymes


    • TRB0T0Y

      So this erratic, unsafe technology will cut people off and then brake check them? It ignores turn signals and brake lights? Tesla apparently mimicked the BMW driving style too.

    • robotlogic

      So BMW has technology aided douchebaggery? I always thought it was 100% of the drivers doing 😉

  • Mr. EP9

    So I said in another article that people who do this shouldn’t have a licence as they were nuisances. Well, where does that leave Tesla if the computers does this?

    • Exotics

      It’s not as bad as they made it out to be. Computers are still learning and are improving every mile. Driver has to always be ready to take over until full self driving is ready.

      • Howfarr

        Tesla’s do not have machine learning

  • TheBelltower

    This is a feature I turned on, tried, then promptly turned off. It’s bad. Autopilot works great otherwise.

    • donald seymour

      Bell, you own a Tesla?

      • TheBelltower

        Yes. A Model X for over a year.

        • donald seymour

          Wow, cool. So, i’m assuming that you have another vehicle besides the X?

          • TheBelltower

            Yep. A TR6 and a couple other quirky cars. The X is driven 95% of the time.

          • TRB0T0Y

            Admit it – ripping thru the gears and going 0-60 in 10 seconds with the Triumph is more joyous that doing in 3.5 rocks in the Tesla…

          • TheBelltower

            When it’s running perfectly and the top is down, life is good!

  • Paulbe

    Tesla. The Tucker Torpedo of the 21st century.

    • Exotics

      Pretty much. Except the negative spins are just for click$. People are safe behind their keyboards

  • Alduin

    Tesla sucks.

    • Exotics

      Go on

  • Exotics

    Overreact much.

    Notice how every Tesla article on Carpoops always involves some stirred controversy

    Funny stuff

  • charlotteharry57

    I’m beginning to think that only dumb folks buy Teslas (around here, this city – that I’m tiring of VERY quickly – has a rep for the dumber you are, the more money you make, so that’s why I saw at least 20 Teslas today while running to and from an appointment 15 miles away) these days after all these doomsday reports. Fires, accidents, bad driving, etc.

  • matilda

    Have you ever started off a work at home business only to leave weeks later? Why do you find it too difficult to make money from home if so many other individuals have executed it? It’s simply because you didn’t start off the RIGHT work from home opportunity for yourself! There is a superb opportunity for you. You’ll get a significantly better idea of which work at home business technique is good for you, what amount of time they take and how you can succeed in getting paid $7543 /on a monthly basis >>>> DB.GL/HkIYC

  • Finkployd

    Gurl that autopilot is serving you attitude *snaps fingers*

  • Finkployd

    New Tesla update makes revving engine sounds and honks at crossing pedestrians

    • Finkployd

      Tesla rolling out ghetto updates

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